College Writing II, Spring 2016

Monday / Wednesday Schedule

Tuesday / Thursday Schedule

Course Description:
A workshop course that thoroughly explores the academic research writing process with an emphasis on entering into academic conversation. Building on the skills acquired in College Writing I, students will learn to write extensively with source material. Key skills addressed include finding, assessing, and integrating primary and secondary sources, and using proper documentation to ensure academic integrity. Students will produce analytical writing throughout the semester, including a minimum of four formal, researched essays. Pre-Req: ENGL-1010 or ENGL-1110; Anti Req for ENGL-1120 – students cannot receive credit for both ENGL-1020 and ENGL-1120 (1040).

Course Purpose and Outcomes:
In College Writing II, we study and practice academic research writing. Students will apply their rhetorical knowledge in the context of academic research through regular informal and formal writing. Students will generate and pursue complex theses through purpose-driven, process-based writing that engages audiences and integrates research. In this workshop course, writers will develop effective research habits and become familiar with the standards of academic research writing. Students will exit with an awareness of their strengths and weaknesses as writers and researchers; successful completion of this course will prepare students to meet the writing challenges they will encounter throughout their academic careers and beyond.

Building upon the skills acquired in College Writing I, students completing College Writing II will produce four formal, researched essays during the course of the semester, working toward the following learning outcomes:

• Generate research topics, ideas, questions, and problems

• Locate, evaluate, and analyze primary and secondary sources of information

• Use the writing process, including feedback from others, to compose substantive researched essays for an academic audience

• Integrate and synthesize their own thoughts meaningfully with the words and ideas of others while foregrounding their position in the academic conversation

• Recognize different citation styles, based on discipline, and employ appropriate systems of documentation accurately

• Practice academic integrity

Required Materials:
In an effort to keep costs low, I will not assign an additional textbook. Everyone will purchase our Common Text, A Writer’s Reference, Hacker and Sommers, 8th edition; and our course readings will be provided online (via Tophat) or handed out in class. Assigned readings must be completed before class.

You will, however, need to purchase a subscription to the online service TopHat ( The semester subscription is $24.00, which you will need for in-class quizzes, attendance, lecture notes, and exercises. You will not be able to pass this class without this tool, so please sign up immediately and let me know if you have any questions.

• A note on TopHat. The online service is an advanced version of classroom clickers that will help us in and out of the classroom. To use the service in class, you will need to bring either a laptop, smartphone, tablet, cell phone with texting, or other device connected to the internet. If you do not own one of these devices, or cannot not regularly bring one to class, please let me know as soon as possible. We can find alternatives so that you do not fall behind or harm your grade.

Grade Breakdown:
You will write four essays this semester, each of which will contain a number of assignments guiding you from drafting to final revisions. At the conclusion of the class you will compile your work into a portfolio for final reflection and assessment – we will discuss this periodically during the semester. College Writing emphasizes the writing process, not just the product, and therefore we will slowly and steadily work toward a complete draft with a number of exercises and assignments. In the end you will choose three essays to present in your portfolio, alongside a number of writing and reflective exercises. Therefore, it is imperative that you participate from the beginning of each unit,complete the range of assignments, and keep everything organized. The variety of exercises are designed to help you enter the essay assignment, develop diverse questions, build a draft, and find ways to refine your thinking as you work toward a finished essay.

In addition to your papers, you will also receive grades for participation, which includes quizzes, in-class assignments, attendance, peer review, and presentations. If you miss a class, that day’s quizzes and exercises may not be made up. I do not assign extra-credit work.

  • Essay 1, Engaging Editorials – 15%
  • Essay 2, Games and Play – 15%
  • Essay 3, Privacy – 15%
  • Essay 4, Discomfort and Empathy – 15%
  • Final Portfolio – 20%
  • Participation – 20%

Paper Format:
For each essay I will distribute a detailed Assignment Sheet with a rubric for how I will determine your grade. All writing assignments will be submitted through Blackboard. No late work will be accepted. I will read and comment directly on your essays and return them to you using this same function. Essays must use a 12-point font, 1-inch margins, and be double-spaced throughout. Papers will use MLA format, which is described in A Writer’s Reference.

Grade distribution:
A: 100-94;  A-: 93-90;  B+: 89-87;  B: 86-84;  B-: 83-80;  C+: 79-77;  C: 76-74;  C-:73-70;  D+: 69-67;  D: 66-64;  F: 63-0

**This is a 3 credit course, as defined by federal regulation. You should expect to complete 6 hours of work outside class each week for approximately 15 weeks, for a total of 90 hours of outside-of-class work. I offer you this math to help you organize your work week.

Paper Format:
All writing assignments will be submitted through Blackboard. I will read and comment directly on your essays and return them to you using this same function. Essays must use a 12-point font, 1-inch margins, and be double-spaced throughout. Papers will use MLA format, which is described in A Writer’s Reference.

Daily Work:
Students are expected to have the readings and assignments completed at the beginning of class. In addition to bringing your textbook, you will also need to bring a notebook and pen or pencil everyday. This is a writing class and you will be asked to write in some fashion every meeting. The class website ( will have links to paper assignments, course material, announcements, and the most current class calendar.

Students are expected to exhibit professional and respectful behavior that is conducive to a mutually beneficial learning environment in the classroom. Because this is a workshop course that emphasizes the writing process, each class meeting will be a step toward completing a final draft. Therefore, no late assignments will be accepted and missed in-class exercises may not be made up.

Coming to class is crucial. Every absence after two will lower your final grade one grade level (a B will move to a B-); more than five absences will automatically result in an F for the course. Students who schedule conferences and do not show will also earn an absence. In addition, students who do not bring required materials, who are not prepared, who text or play with electronic devices, or who show up significantly late (more than 10 minutes) will be considered absent for the day. Coming to class late three times will count as one absence. If you anticipate a problem, please come see me ahead of time.

Except for absences resulting from travel to, or participation in regularly-scheduled intercollegiate athletic contests about which the instructor has been properly notified, UML student-athletes shall have the responsibility of attending class, sitting for exams, and meeting assignment due dates on the same schedule as other students enrolled in the same course, and may be penalized for absences other than those resulting from such travel or participation.

Office Hours and Email:
If you cannot meet during my scheduled office hours please let me know (in person) so we can arrange a time; we can also use Skype (user name: profpetersen) or some other virtual meeting arrangement during office hours. Feel free to email me as well, although I have found that for anything beyond a simple question it is far more productive, and enjoyable, to talk face-to-face. You must use your official UML email account and check it regularly. I do not check my email after 5 pm so please give me ample time to respond. In addition, if you miss a class when an assignment was due, do not email me the assignment. Unless you make arrangements ahead of time, I will not accept late work.

A note on email etiquette: While we treat email as a quick and informal way to communicate, I ask that you consider how you represent yourself and your audience. For all email, please use the subject line to tell me which class you are in, and use an appropriate greeting and signature. An email that begins with “Dear Professor” and ends with “Sincerely,” makes a strong impression and asks your reader to take seriously your question or request. Emails with text abbreviations or grammatical mistakes often frustrate readers and undermine your intent.

In accordance with University policy and the ADA, I will happily accommodate students with documented disabilities confirmed by the Office of Disability Services at University Crossing, 220 Pawtucket St, Suite #300, phone: 978-934-4574, e-mail: (978-934-4574). If you have a documented disability that will necessitate academic accommodations, please notify me in the first week of classes so that we might make appropriate arrangements. If you will miss class due to religious observances or other protected activities, please see me in advance so that we can plan for any change to due dates, etc.

Plagiarism is presenting the work of another as your own or not acknowledging the work of another. As college students and adults you are responsible for understanding the college’s rules for academic honesty and asking me to explain any confusion you may have about plagiarism. Please see the University’s policy for more information: ( We will discuss this in class. It is always better to consult me ahead of time about any questions you may have; after a paper is turned in, there is nothing I can do. Cases of plagiarism will not be tolerated and will result in a failure in the course with possible University sanctions.

This schedule presents only the deadlines for the major assignments and reading schedule. At the beginning of each unit I will publish a Assignment Sheet with a breakdown of every assignment, its weight, and detailed instructions. As we progress through the semester I will adjust the schedule according to our progress and needs. Please check the website often.

Monday / Wednesday Schedule

Tuesday / Thursday Schedule